May 25, 2016

How many times have you complained about your Facebook reach? Probably more times than you can count. Even I complain about it. Well, I used to a lot more than I do now. You see, I’ve been experimenting with organic reach on Facebook for the last 5 or 6 months. And, while everyone else seems to be whining about decreasing reach, I’m averaging at least 20% organic post reach every month on my Facebook page.

Yes, I said averaging at least 20% organic reach on Facebook.

When most people are getting single digit reach, I continue to see great results from my Facebook page. So how do I do it?

I’m gonna tell you!

As I mentioned, I’ve been experimenting with various factors, and here I am going to show you what I’ve learned so that you can use these same methods for yourself.

But first, in case you don’t believe me, I wanted to prove to you that I am actually getting these numbers. Because anyone can claim it, but only some can prove it.

For the last month specifically, I ran 24 posts on my Facebook page. Those 24 posts saw 17,943 people. That’s an average post organic reach of 747.63 people. With a current fan count of 3440 people, that equals 21.7% organic reach for this month.

And here’s a screenshot of some of those posts, just to show you these are true numbers:

On top of this individual post reach of at least 20%, my average organic weekly reach ranges between 1500-2500. That’s at least 50% of my audience every single week seeing something from my page.

I also gain about 20-30 new fans on my Facebook page every week. And my organic reach continues to range between 20-30% every month.

As you can see from the screenshot, not every post performs well. Some posts see less than 100 people. But, in general, even with low reach, they tend to have decent engagement in terms of likes, comments, and clicks. That’s because these low reach posts tend to go to my most devoted followers who are most likely to interact with the posts.

Ok, so I showed you what I get for results. Now let me tell you how I do it.

Post Less Content

I’ve been preaching this since the new year. Post. Less. Content.

We are in an overly saturated online world with content streaming in every which direction. And the more of it you keep putting out there, the more Facebook will reduce your reach on each post.

So, if you post less content, then when you do post, Facebook will reward you with more reach on that post.

You noticed when I shared my math, I only posted 24 times in the last month. That’s an average of 6 posts a week. Less than once a day. And that was actually a busier month for me. I usually average more like 4-5 posts a week.

Post Better Content

It’s not about how many posts you share on Facebook, it’s about the quality of the posts. If you’re posting less, then you are more inclined to post the BEST content you can find, right?

I mean, if I’m only posting 4 times a week, I sure as hell am not gonna post something that is just ok. Nuh-unh. It’s gotta be really good to get into my Facebook queue!

And that way, my audience is more likely to react to it, thereby encouraging Facebook to share it to more people, because more and more people are clicking, liking, commenting, and sharing it. See how that works?

I call it the “meh” factor. If I read something and my reaction is that it’s just “meh” (meaning average or not great), then it does not make it into my list of articles to share on Facebook. I may still share it to Twitter or LinkedIn, but I only share the best content on Facebook now.

I also don’t post motivational quotes, memes, and other fluff. Yes, for many these may be reactive content that generate engagement, but it doesn’t serve my audience and wastes valuable spots in my queu for my limited number of posts.

Post Engaging Content

This goes hand-in-hand with “better content” but takes it one step further. You have to know what your audience wants to engage with – and how this varies.

For example, I very occasionally share a photo of my daughter to my Facebook page. When I do, these posts get great engagement! It shows a personal side of my brand and allows people to connect with me on a more personal level. But, if I shared a photo of her every week, people would get tired of seeing her photos and the engagement would drop. So I share selectively.

The majority of the content I share is highly relevant social media information, news, tactics, and resources. This is the content my audience is most interested in and what they are most likely to want to get from my page. I post content that is informational, sharable, valuable, and helpful. Things like breaking news, understanding an update, new features, actionable tactics, and more. This makes the content ideal for engagement, and we all know, more engagement equals more reach on Facebook.

Schedule Using Facebook Only

I ONLY schedule posts on Facebook using the Facebook scheduling tool.

I hear all the time that Facebook isn’t penalizing outside tools anymore. Or that they are still reducing organic reach for posts scheduled with other tools. Either way, I don’t care. I schedule using Facebook.

First of all, that way I don’t have to worry about the chance that Facebook might reduce my reach for using another tool. But also, I like being in Facebook regularly. I can see what changes are happening, check my analytics, and engage more authentically when I’m right there in the platform.

Post Off the Hour

If you are going to schedule to Facebook, pick weird random times. I never post on the hour, quarter hour, half hour, or even on the 10s. Instead, I post at 6:11 or 3:42 or other odd times.

This seems to help avoid a flood of other posts that push out on the “normal” times and I find I get more reach every time.

I’ve used this strategy on multiple pages I manage and have seen positive results across the board.

Don’t Post Right After a Popular Post

If you have a post that is performing well, hold off sharing anything else! This may seem counter-intuitive, but if you post something else while a popular post is still getting traction, that later post will get minimal reach.

Basically, Facebook will keep pushing out the post that is performing well and will ignore the post that came after.

I’ve tested this multiple times and the later post always gets an organic reach of less than 200 people if the popular post is still getting traction. As a result, I’ve actually re-scheduled posts to delay their posting time if a previous post is performing really well.

Sharing Has Mixed Results

One tactic I’ve struggled to find a steady result from is sharing from another page or profile. Sometimes a post shared to my page will generate large organic reach and other times it will fall completely flat.

While I haven’t been able to fully justify the results, I have been able to “generally” ascertain that the reach I will get from a share depends on the reach/engagement the original post had.

For example, if the original page post has lots of engagement or high reach, chances are when I share it, I will get similar results. And if the original post doesn’t have much reach or engagement, then my post will suffer as well.

BUT… I’ve shared popular posts (for example a post from Mari Smith’s page that was shared a ton of times and with huge engagement) but got minimal reach from the post on my page. The problem I see with this is that if I’m late to the sharing party, my audience is likely seeing this popular share from a variety of other sources and so my post is pushed down in priority behind theirs.

That’s why if you want to share something on your page from a popular source, get on it early! Otherwise, it may not be worth the share.

Otherwise, find something popular but from a source that your audience isn’t likely to follow or see in order to capitalize on expanded reach.

Stay Positive

One thing I’ve found over and over and over is that a positive post always performs better for organic reach on Facebook.

Rants, negativity, complaining, and critical comments almost always get dumped from the feed. Especially for pages!

Instead, use positive, encouraging, excited, and uplifting status updates to keep your reach up. And I’m being literal here. I use words like “excited” or “happy” or “fun” or “awesome” or “the best” or other positive words all the time. And when I do, I almost always get higher organic reach.

Don’t “Sell” It

Facebook does not like promotional content – unless you’re paying for it. So it’s best to avoid anything “salesy” in your updates.

This means avoiding things like “visit our website” or “click here to get it now” or “for a limited time” or other promotional sentences and calls-to-action.

I know this makes it hard but you have to get creative with how you encourage fans to engage or click. For example, try something like “We’re in love with this new scarf! It’s gonna look amazing with your fall wardrobe.” And then post the link to the sales page. And/or include a beautiful image of the product. See how the wording talks to the viewer and makes them want it but doesn’t shout “New inventory. Go to our website to get it now!”?

Did you find this helpful? Please share:
  1. Ok Jenn…I’m going to do my own challenge following these tips…that I have heard before, like you said, but didn’t really believe. My audience isn’t as big as yours…but let’s see what happens. I took the screenshot tonight. See you in a month.

    1. Good for you Anita! I can’t wait to see how the results pan out for you. But remember, it may take a while to start seeing results. So in a month the growth may be only a little bit, but the next month it should increase more still. Please let me know though how it works for you or if some tactics worked better for you than others.

  2. Great post! I noticed that majority of your posts include images, and usually those get higher reach than links (even from my own experience) but I wondered, if my specific aim is a click through, am I better off sharing a photo or a link? It doesn’t help me if I get incredible reach, but nobody clicks…
    What do you think?

    1. Great question Shiri! For my personal blog posts I always use an image (because I schedule them in advance and don’t want a dead link image to populate). But for anyone else’s links or blog posts, I always use the link with the automatic link image. In general, I think posting the link (and letting it populate the image) is better for click throughs because people have multiple places to click and it makes it easier for them.

  3. Great post! I met a someone at a media company this week who claims 40 posts a day is what Facebook has recommended to them to keep up their reach. I’ve always been against too many posts but it seems this company has been convinced this works. What are your thoughts on that?

    1. Oh. Em. GEE!!! 40 posts a day?!?! Who has that much to share?! Please, No. Do not post this much content. That is the exact saturation I am talking about and I would NEVER follow an account that posted that much content.

  4. This is brilliant stuff! Thanks for sharing. Now to get my client to stop “sharing” 3 third-party posts in a row 😉 She doesn’t get it.

    This is going on my FB page! 😀

    1. lol! Thanks Louise 🙂 So glad you enjoyed it and appreciate you sharing it. And, feel free to send this post to your client 😉

  5. Jenn, I just found you and have learned so much from your blog the past 20 minutes. I thought I knew a lot but your info is fresh and different; thanks so much! <3

    1. Hi Melissa! This is great news 🙂 I’m so happy you found some tips and info here to help you!

  6. Great article. Food for thought. We give away a gift card every two weeks on facebook. On our most recent giveaway, $50 Rustic Cuff card…..we received 180 new likes and 11k reaches with zero boost money spent in about 8 hours.

    1. That’s great, Jake! Congrats. It sounds like that campaign is definitely working well for you.

  7. Hi Jenn! Timely and actionable advice as always! I respect your decision to schedule directly through Facebook but that’s a time-killer for me. I’m aware of the Facebook loves Facebook rule. However, I have two businesses that each have their own Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram pages. I pay for a scheduling program because if I didn’t, I’d never post anything due the time required. Any data or anecdotal experience with doing all of the things you suggest but using a scheduling a program? Wondering what the true impact would be.

    1. Hey Jenet! I completely understand the need for some people to use a scheduling tool outside of Facebook. And if this is something you are doing, you can still use all the other tips to maximize the reach of your posts. You may not see “as much” reach, but if you’re doing all the right things, you’ll still get more reach, even if you’re using a 3rd party scheduling tool.

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